- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? review by Steve
Brilliantly cast, faithful adaptation of Edward Albee's waspish theatre hit. It's hardly opened up from the stage, mostly being set in George and Martha's rather scruffy university residence.
Albee's dialogue is intelligent and very funny as George and Martha take us on a tour of their esoteric fantasy life while they initiate two arrivals. George works in the history department; Nick is an assertive biology teacher, burdened by his frail, irksome, alcoholic wife Honey. The games the foursome play through the long, drunken night are irresistible.
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, have ruined the play for other actors. This is Taylor's best performance, as the aggressive, insolent daughter of the university Chancellor. Burton is adept at the coruscating verbal sparring, but there is also a vulnerability.
It's so much fun just watching the Burtons warming up in the opening scenes. What then unfolds is astonishing. They become like two warring civilisations. George Segal and Sandy Dennis are fine as Nick and Honey but they get blown away in the storm. This is a dazzling intellectual experience made definitive by its great stars.
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